Conor Henry: I regret not taking drugs when trying to turn pro

Posted on: November 4th, 2017

Milk Race winner Conor Henry regrets not taking drugs

Former top Irish cyclist Conor Henry won the Milk Race in 1992. He would secure a pro trial and looking back says he regrets not trying drugs so he could have found out whether he was good enough to make the grade. He never did take drugs, saying he didn’t want to do so (Photos by Phil O’Connor)


Milk Race winner Conor Henry regrets not taking drugs given era he was racing in


A winner of the Milk Race in Britain when riding as a 21-year-old with the Irish team, Conor Henry has said he regrets not taking drugs when trying to gain a pro contract.

He said though he secured a trial with Dutch team TVM in 1992 after his Milk Race victory, many of the riders he was competing against were taking drugs.

And without doing so himself, he says he never found out whether he was good enough to be a professional.

Henry rode in France for four years and after winning many races there he went to the Milk Race in 1992 and won it overall.

He secured a stagiaire with TVM, a Dutch top flight pro team, but he was tired after a long season and was not signed for the following year.


Milk Race winner Conor Henry regrets not taking drugs


In an interview with VeloVeritas, the former Irish rider was asked if he had any regrets. And he was frank in his response; reflecting the times he now knows he was riding in.

“Looking back – and I am not joking when I say this – I would have taken drugs especially when on trial,” he said.

“There were days when I was climbing faster than everyone, even some of the best riders in the world, amateur and pro.

“However, my form would come and go with tiredness – as is human when you are clean.

“I never wanted to taint my passion with drugs. But since retiring I realised that most were on drugs.

“And I really wish I had taken some just to know how good I really was. Maybe I still would not have been good enough but at least I would know.

“Also, I possibly would have made enough money so that I wouldn’t have had (to) do a job that I would rather not.”

Conor Henry, now living in the UK, said he gained a place with TVM through cycling agent Frank Quinn.

However, while he took 2nd on a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir with the team, he said he was spent.

“I was shattered after a long season and really would not have raced at all if it wasn’t my trial for the team.”

He also raced in Italy with the team but was exhausted there too and pulled out of a planned trip to New Zealand with the Irish national team as a result.